View Full Version : Possible eye injury causing strange behavior

07-13-08, 05:01 pm
It has been several months since I've posted on the forums (I've been quite busy with school and my pigs), but I'm back now hoping for some help discerning what may be wrong with my guinea pig, Dudley.

About two days ago, after dinner time, I opened up the entrance/exit to the pigs' cage (routine) so that they could get some floor time. Both pigs quickly left the cage (which is normal) and about an hour later, I noticed them back in their cage (also normal, to eat on and off). Here is where the weird behavior began: I noticed about a half hour later that both pigs were still in the cage, just lying down. My other guinea pig, Babyman, follows Dudley wherever he goes, so if Dudley goes in the cage, so too does Babyman. From that point on, I noticed a change in Dudley's behavior. He now kind of slinks around the cage, very cautious of his surroundings, kind of like he doesn't know where he is and like he can't see. He usually tries to avoid confrontations with Babyman, who is generally dominant over Dudley, but I notice him walking right towards Babyman. I also noticed the morning after this first observation that almost no pellets were eaten (Dudley is a big pellet eater), so I moved the bowl near where he lies down most often, and sure enough, a few hours later, the bowl was slowly emptying. I'm 99.999% sure it is not a leg injury because when it's breakfast/dinner time, he runs to his hidey with whatever veggies he wants all to himself. Another strange thing he is now doing is SCREAMING at the top of his lungs when we whistle for food time (we've conditioned them to know when it's breakfast/dinner time by whistling and/or ringing a bell before feeding). Since I've had Dudley, I've noticed that he has trouble vocalizing his wheeks, possibly from the UTI he had when I first got him, so this new screaming is very noticeable. I'm wondering whether it is related to him not knowing where he is and also not eating as much pellets and hay as he normally does in between vegetable feedings.

1) Walking around cage very cautiously
2) Allowing my boyfriend and myself to pet him (he normally runs away once he sees "the hands of death")
3) Not darting from the cage immediately when the gate is open
4) Not begging to come out of the cage at all
5) Came on very suddenly
6) No visible signs of trauma

I would really appreciate everyone's opinion on this. Sadly, I value all of your opinions about health issues more than my vet's, which I've discussed in previous posts. I would feel better going to the vet with an idea of what might be wrong so I could discuss it with him.

Thanks so much.

07-13-08, 05:25 pm
How old are your piggies? Could it possibly be his eye sight going?

07-13-08, 05:33 pm
Have you noticed any of the following:
Decreased hay or veggie consumption?
Decreased water consumption?
Runny eyes/nose/drooling?
Poo decrease/malformed poos?
Breathing difficulties/clicking in chest/hooting?

07-13-08, 07:51 pm
Haley -- Dudley will be two in ~Oct., so I don't think it could be that he is just aging and his eye sight is going.

Ly -- I haven't noticed any of the symptoms you listed except for the decreased hay consumption one, which I think has to do with the fact that he is having trouble getting around the cage. He definitely still has an appetite, as he screams for his food in the morning and at night and I notice him eating his veggies. However, the hay area is on the opposite side of the cage from the sleeping areas, so he hasn't been eating as much as usual, unless I shoe him over there or bring hay to him.

This is very frustrating for me. Any and all suggestions are appreciated.

07-13-08, 07:55 pm
Actually, Ly, I should mention that within the past few months, I've noticed that Dudley's eyes sometimes become somewhat watery (maybe once every 2 weeks) and seem to produce some kind of discharge, but it seems to "disappear" before I can ever get closer to see it, never running out of his eyes or building up.

07-13-08, 08:26 pm
That could be grooming fluid. Have you looked at his eyes to see if there is any redness, swelling, visible injuries? Have you been weighing him weekly for signs of weight loss?

Your best bet may be to take him into a cavy savvy vet to be thoroughly checked out.

08-21-08, 01:20 pm
Just wanted to give everyone an update on Dudley. Shortly after my last concerned post, Dudley began to improve. He was walking around the cage normally, not startled by the slightest movements or from objects in his way. His appetite stayed the same (good) and he started to remember that he loves to leave his cage and romp around! Once I heard him biting on the grid bars (his way of saying, "Please let me out!"), I felt much relief. Since then, everything has been fine! I still have no idea what happened and then what happened subsequently to make him "all better," but I'm just content in knowing he's back to his normal self.

On an unrelated note, I hope to get back into reading the forum on a regular basis now that things have settled down a little bit. Thanks for all the suggestions and good wishes, everyone!